The aim of this project is to develop sustainable approaches to the delivery of survivorship care plans; our goals were to explore preferences of cancer survivors regarding the format and content of a survivorship care plan, and how they might use a survivorship care plan.
Survivorship care plans facilitate communication between cancer survivors, their oncology team and their GP. The survivorship care plan should detail:
- the survivor’s cancer type and treatments
- potential short- and long-term effects of treatment
- what the survivor should look for (including psychosocial effects) and how frequently they should visit the doctor for check-ups and screening
- screening guidelines and symptoms of cancer recurrence, including second primaries
- how the survivor’s follow-up care will be coordinated between the oncology specialist, GP, nurses and allied health professionals, and who to contact between appointments
- lifestyle changes to reduce the risk and severity of treatment side effects, prevent comorbid conditions and promote better health
- useful community resources on employment and insurance issues arising from cancer and its treatment
- fertility planning for patients of reproductive age
- the survivor’s values and preferences regarding their care.